August Lamb Challange Recipe- BBQ Lamb Rib

August Lamb Challange Recipe- BBQ Lamb Rib

Sometimes you just want to put something on and then forget about it while it does its own thing.. well slow roasted dippy messy, not alot of meat on them ribs fit the bill.

  • 3 to 4 pds worth of Lamb Riblits-take out the night before and allowed to thaw in the fridge
  • 3 Tbsp of oil or so to brown the ribs in, a frying pan on med heat.

Then move ribs and all drippings from the frying pan to the roaster or to a crock pot.

At that time, you can add

  • 1 clove of garlic-minced
  • 1/2 cup of vinager (any kind will work but apple or white wine are very nice)
  • 1 cup of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of worcesterhire sauce
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 small onion minced
  • half a tsp of salt/pepper

Put all the rest back into your frying pan and simmer for 15 min then pour over the ribs and bake in the over at 350 for about 2 hours or into a crock pot on low for four to six hours till the meat is falling off the bone.

A thank you out to Will for letting me know that for whatever reason the first posting didn’t work properly, thankfully I had a draft version still saved so didn’t have to write it out again.. very sorry folks that it came out the first time incomplete.



August Lamb Challange Recipe- BBQ Lamb Rib
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Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

On Father’s Day we usually either grill steaks or make a huge Rib Roast.  Both are great choices but this year we’ll be mixing it up a bit.  Instead of grilled steaks or a nice rib roast I’ll be making a nice Rack of Lamb.

I made my very first rack of lamb for my grandson’s birthday last April.  Lamb is one of his favorite meats and he requested it for his birthday dinner.  We used to just throw a couple of racks on the grill during one of our weekly barbecues, but for his birthday I wanted to do something a little fancier.  So I looked up several different recipes and tweaked them here and there until I came up with this delicious Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb.

I’m not a big fan of lamb, in fact I don’t eat it, which is why I don’t make it very often.  But the rest of the family loves it.  Years ago cooking lamb intimidated me, but I’ve since learned how to make it in several dishes.  But never had I done a rack until the other month.  I was happily surprised that it went well.  It came out so well that I’ve served it a couple of times since my grandson’s birthday.

This recipe is very simple but it makes the lamb rack tender and juicy; and yes it looks impressive when served!  The secret to making the perfect rack of lamb is to be sure the meat is at room temperature before roasting; just like making the perfect roast.  Cooking meat at room temperature prevents over and undercooking.  Another secret is to use your handy meat thermometer to ensure that you’ve cooked your meat to the proper temperature; well actually you cook meat until it’s about 5° BELOW your desired temperature.  And lastly you allow your rack to “rest” for about 5 minutes after you take it out of the oven.  (Here’s a tip:  you should remove allow all meats, grilled, broiled, or roasted before it gets to the proper temperature and allow it to rest about 5 minutes)

You may be wondering why meats should be removed from the oven or grill before it hits the desired temperature and “rest” before serving.  The reason is that your meat continues to cook even after you remove it from the heat source so if you take it out when the thermometer hits the correct temperature your meat ends up overdone.  The resting period allows the meat to continue to cook to the desired temperature and seals in the juices.  I learned this from the Chef who caters all our special events.

Before I write down my recipe here’s a couple more tips so that your rack of lamb turns out perfectly.

  1. If you’re roasting more than 1 rack (a rack with 8 ribs feeds about 2-3 people) get racks that are close in size and weight so that they cook evenly.
  2. Be sure the racks are “frenched” – meaning the bone tips are exposed and clean.
  3. Be sure you get lamb not mutton!  Mutton has a very strong gamey scent and is not tender, it comes from adult sheep.
  4. If you can smell some gaminess in the meat rub fresh lemon all around the rack, this helps neutralize the scent.
  5. Invest in a meat thermometer.  You can pick one up from Amazon or any store that sells kitchen supplies.  You don’t need the fanciest most expensive one although one that’s digital is a plus.  They sell for under $20 and is one of the best investments you can make for your kitchen.

I try to use fresh herbs in my recipes and this one is no exception.  It’s a great way to use the herbs I grow in my garden.  But if you don’t have fresh herbs dried ones will work too.

Having said all this here’s my recipe!  Try it out for Father’s Day I’m sure everyone will love it!  I’ll give you the recipe for 1 rack but you can easily double or triple it for more racks.  Just remember to get racks that are close in weight and size!

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb


1 Rack of Lamb –  8 ribs, frenched

1/4 cup Olive Oil

3-4 Cloves fresh garlic, minced

3 Sprigs fresh Rosemary leaves, chopped (or 2 Tbs. dried rosemary)

1 Tbs. fresh Thyme leaves, chopped (or 1 Tbs. dried thyme)

6 Sprigs of fresh parsley, finely chopped + more for garnish

Salt & Pepper to taste


Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place rack on top.

Mix all the other ingredients together in a small bowl.

Rub oil mixture all over the rack, be sure you get the sides and the bottom.

Place rack fat side up on the sheet and let sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 450°.

Insert thermometer in the thickest part of the meat.

Cook lamb in the oven until the thermometer reads 5° BELOW your desired temperature (see chart below)

Remove from oven and cover with foil.  Let rest for 5-10 minutes or until the thermometer reads your desired temperature.

Slice rack between the bones, garnish with chopped parsley if desired.

Serve with your favorite sides and starch.  We like it with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus

Doneness Chart for Rack of Lamb: (Fahrenheit)

Rare –  115° – 120°

Medium Rare – 120° – 125°

Medium – 130° – 135°

Medium Well – 140° – 145°

Well Done – 150° – 155°



Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb
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Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb
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  1. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place rack on top.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients together in a small bowl.  
  3. Rub oil mixture all over the rack, be sure you get the sides and the bottom.
  4. Place rack fat side up on the sheet and let sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. 
  5. Pre-heat oven to 450°.
  6. Insert thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. 
  7. Cook lamb in the oven until the thermometer reads 5° BELOW your desired temperature (see chart below)
  8. Remove from oven and cover with foil.  Let rest for 5-10 minutes or until the thermometer reads your desired temperature.  
  9. Slice rack between the bones, garnish with chopped parsley if desired.  
  10. Serve with your favorite sides and starch.  We like it with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus
Recipe Notes

Doneness Chart for Rack of Lamb: (Fahrenheit) Rare -  115° - 120° Medium Rare - 120° - 125° Medium - 130° - 135° Medium Well - 140° - 145° Well Done - 150° - 155°

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Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary

Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary


We used the Breville Boss To Go blender to make this marinade.

Combine all marinade ingredients into the Breville Boss to Go Blender. Pulse for 5 – 10 seconds until smooth (makes 1 cup)

Tips & Hints:

To freeze the marinade: Pour into a small snap lock bag. Seal. Gently flatten bag and label. Freeze (flat) on a freezer shelf. Use within 1 month.



  1. Season lamb. Place lamb into a large snap – lock bag. Add marinade. Seal bag
  2. Massage lamb to coat evenly with marinade. Marinate in the fridge for 4 hours, or overnight if the time permits
  3. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan forced. Place lamb and marinade into a baking dish. Pour 1 cup water into dish. Cover with a sheet baking paper and then cover pan with foil. Bake for 2 hours
  4. Uncover lamb. Add an additional 1 cup water to pan. Reduce heat to 160°C/140°C fan forced
  5. Bake uncovered for a further 2 hours or until lamb is very tender and falls off the bone. Remove from oven
  6. Shred and slice lamb. Serve with roasted vegetables and green beans


Lemon, Garlic & Rosemary marinade

6 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice

Slow-roasted lamb shoulder

1 x 2kg lamb shoulder (bone in)
1 quantity of Lemon, Garlic & Rosemary marinade
Roasted vegetables and green beans to serve


Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary
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Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary
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Lemon, Garlic & Rosemary marinade
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Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish


Maqluba is a Levantine dish popular in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine.  The name literally means “upside down” because the meat, vegetables, and rice are stacked in a handleless pot to cook, then flipped over and placed on a large tray for serving.

These days Maqluba is described as a one pot dish, which I suppose it could be; assuming you don’t count the pot you stew the meat in, and the pan you fry the veggies in.  Not to mention the bowl you soak the rice in, and if you’re adding vermicelli and pine nuts the pan you brown the pasta and nuts in.

Maqluba is very similar to Paella which is also a one pot dish composed of meat or seafood, veggies, and rice.  Considering that many parts of Spain was under Moorish rule for a total of about 800 years it would be fair to say that Paella is the Spanish version of Maqluba or vice versa.

It is honestly the only Arabic dish I can claim to have mastered.  After years of making Maqluba I’ve finally gotten it right every single time.  It’s really not that difficult to make, it’s just tedious due to all the steps in the recipe and the time it takes to make it.  If you count the time it takes to soak the rice this dish takes all day to make, at the very least about 3  hours.  But it is truly worth the time and effort.

Maqluba is typically made with stewed meat, either lamb, beef, or chicken; fried vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower, or eggplant; and rice.  All the ingredients are stacked in that order into a large deep pot preferably without handles.  Of course you can omit the meat and make a vegetarian dish.

There are “enhancements” you can add to make the dish fancier.  Some folks like to mix vermicelli and even garbanzo beans in the rice before cooking, then sprinkle it with pine nuts before serving.  And of course in our family I slip tomato wedges between the meat before cooking, and some of us like to top the cooked dish with corn kernels and plain yogurt.  In short I suppose each family has it’s own version on how to cook and eat Maqluba.  But one thing is certain, it’s delicious!

Here’s how we make it at our house, but first here’s a quick tip.  When making Maqluba use a deeper pot with no handles (a maqluba pot is the best, but hard to find in the US, you may find one at a middle eastern grocery store) and a lid, or a pot with removable handles or handles that aren’t too close to the pot lip.  This will make flipping it over easier as handles can block the tray you flip it on to from laying flat on top of the pot.  The pot has to be deep enough to layer the ingredients and still have enough space for the rice to expand as it cooks.



4-5 Cups Long Grain Rice

1 Tbs. Turmeric Powder

1/8 Cup Olive Oil

8-10 pieces of meat (lamb, beef, or bone in chicken thighs)

1 Large Onion, cut in chunks

1 Tbs. Garlic, crushed

1 Tbs. + 1 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Tsp. + 1 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Box Stock (beef or chicken depending on the meat you use)

1 Large Cauliflower, cut into chunks

1 Large Eggplant, cut into rounds

3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds

Oil for frying

Cooking spray

2 Tomatoes cut in wedges

6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled

Vermicelli (Optional)

1 Can Garbanzo Beans, drained (Optional)

1/2 Cup Pine Nuts (Optional)

Butter (Optional)

1 Can Corn Kernels (Optional)

1 Cup Fresh Plain Greek Yogurt (Optional)


Place rice in a big bowl and cover with water.

Add Turmeric to water and stir until it is evenly distributed and water turns yellow.  Set aside for at least 2 hours. Check periodically as the rice will absorb the water.  If all the water is absorbed add more and stir.

Heat olive oil in a stock pot.

Saute onions in hot oil until it starts to turn translucent.

Add crushed garlic and cook another minute, stir to keep from burning.

Add meat, 1 Tbs. Cumin, 1 Tsp. Nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Cook until meat starts to brown.

Add stock and then add water to completely cover the meat.

Let simmer until meat is tender and fully cooked.  About 2 hours.  Set aside when done.

Meanwhile place about 1″ oil in frying pan.

Fry your veggies until cooked and drain on paper towels.  Set aside.

If using Vermicelli and/or Pine Nuts:  Melt about 1 tbs. butter in a small frying pan.  Add vermicelli and cook until it starts to turn brown, stir constantly to keep from burning.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Repeat this procedure with Pine Nuts.

When ready to stack meat in the pot:

Spray bottom and sides of pot with cooking spray.

Drain rice then stir in vermicelli noodles and/or garbanzo beans if using.

Starting with the meat, remove meat from pot it was cooked it, reserve the broth do not discard.

Arrange meat at the bottom of the pot.

Slip garlic cloves and tomato wedges between the meat.

Sprinkle meat with 1 tsp. cumin and 1 tsp. nutmeg.

Arrange veggies on top of meat.

Pour rice mixture over the veggies and smooth out to make the top flat.

Gently pour reserved broth over the rice.  Fill until the broth just covers the rice, if you don’t have enough broth add water.

Cover with lid and simmer over medium heat until rice is cooked.  Check every 10 minutes or so to make sure the liquid has not all evaporated before the rice is cooked.  If you need to add more liquid, either broth or water.  This takes about 30 minutes.

If the rice is cooked and you still have liquid remove lid and raise the heat for about 5 minutes so that the rest of the liquid evaporates.  Be careful not to burn the bottom.  Or you can carefully drain extra liquid before flipping.

When rice is cooked and there is no more liquid remove pot from lid.  Let rest about 5 minutes.

Flip over onto a large tray.

Garnish with cooked Pine Nuts on the meat if desired.

Serve with bowls of corn kernels and plain yogurt.



Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish
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Mansaf – Middle Eastern Lamb Dish

Mansaf – Middle Eastern Lamb Dish

mensaf Mansaf, Fatiyeh, or Fatihah this traditional middle eastern lamb stew in yogurt sauce is a big part of Arabic cuisine.  It is a favorite dish for large gatherings including weddings and engagement parties.  In short it plays a large part in Middle Eastern hospitality.

In my experience folks in the Arab world are very hospitable and generous. Rolling out a huge tray of Mansaf is a sign of respect and welcome to anyone visiting an Arab home whether it be in Jordan, Dubai, Europe, or America.

But of course this traditional dish has several names depending on the country or even city one is in.  In most countries like Jordan and Lebanon it’s called Mansaf; it’s the same dish Palestinians from the West Bank call Fatiyeh or Fatihah and those who hail closer to the larger cities call Mensaf.  Whatever it’s called it’s basically the same dish with a few regional additions to the toppings.

So what is Mansaf?  It’s a dish typically made with Lamb that’s simmered in a yogurt sauce made from reconstituted “Chisitch/Kishk/Jameed” (fermented or dried sheeps’ milk yogurt.)  Then the meat and sauce are served on a bed of torn unleavened bread like Shrak or pita and rice.  The whole dish can be topped with fresh parsley and sprinkled with toasted pine nuts; or as I’ve been taught by some of my Palestinian husband’s friends a ring of fried onions and tomatoes.

Really the secret ingredient, or not so secret, is the Chisitch.  Okay it’s not the easiest thing to get your hands on.  I usually get the dried balls of Chisitch from my husband’s relatives who travel to and from the Middle East or my sister-in-law who actually makes it!  I’ve also been able to buy it from a market in Oman during one of my trips there.  But you might be able to find it at a middle eastern market where it’s usually called Kishk or Jameed.  It’s available in liquid or powder form.  Or you can believe it or not order it from Amazon by clicking this affiliate link!   

If all else fails and you simply can not get a hold of Chisitch/Kishk/Jameed then use Buttermilk!  Yes the carton you find in your grocer’s diary section.  Good old fashioned buttermilk, the stuff you can use to make Buttermilk pancakes and biscuits!

If you’re using balls of chisitch from where ever you must reconstitute it – meaning soak the balls in water overnight, then place all of it in your blender until it is liquified.  You might need to add water to the blender to get the liquid you need.

If you’re using powdered kishk or jameed then dissolve it in water.  Obviously the easiest one to use would be liquid jameed or buttermilk.

Whichever one you use the real secret is to keep the jameed or kishk liquid from curdling when you add it to your meat.  To do that you must temper it by slowly stirring the liquid into a little bit of lamb broth.  This brings the temperature of the jameed up to the temperature of the stewed meat.

To season this dish I use my Lebanese 7 Spices Mix Click here for that recipe!

So if you want to try this yummy dish at home scroll down for my recipe.  It’s pretty fussy, it takes me a whole afternoon too make it!  This recipe is for a fairly small tray, you can double or triple it if you need to make a large tray for more people.

By the way Mansaf or Fatihah is traditionally eaten with one’s fingers right off the serving tray.  The polite and proper way to eat this dish is to use your fingers to take bite-sized portions from the tray and pop it in your mouth.  You take portions only from the meat and rice that is directly in front of you; respect other diner’s tray space.  That’s how it’s traditionally eaten; at our house it’s served family style with a serving spoon used to spoon a portion on to each person’s plate and we uses forks and knives.


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  1. Place meat in large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil.
  2. While meat boils fat will come to the surface. Skim off fat and discard. Continue this process until fat stops forming on the surface.
  3. Strain meat and set aside while you thoroughly wash out the pot. Dry pot before proceeding.
  4. Heat 1 Tbs. Olive Oil in pot and add 1 portion of chopped onions. Cook onions until they start to soften.
  5. Add meat and Lebanese 7 Spices Mix and stir well. Cook until onions become translucent.
  6. Add beef broth to cover meat. Bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 2 hours.
  8. Meanwhile you can prepare other parts of the dish.
  9. Heat remaining Olive Oil in frying pan and add remaining chopped onions. Cook until onions start to soften.
  10. Add garlic to pan and cook about 1 minute stirring constantly.
  11. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft and juices start to come out. Salt & Pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
  12. Melt 2 Tbs. Butter in saute pan and toast pine nuts until they start to turn golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  13. About 30 minutes before stew is cooked prepare rice by first melting remaining butter in pot.
  14. Add Vermecelli and saute until pasta starts to turn golden brown.
  15. Add dry rice and saute another minute.
  16. Stir in about 4 cups of water to cover the rice. Cook covered over low heat for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked. Let rest at least 5 minutes to absorb any remaining water.
  17. Check you meat. It should be tender and falling off the bone.
  18. If meat is cooked turn down heat very low.
  19. Remove about 1 cup of broth from pot to temper your jameed or buttermilk.
  20. Slowly pour liquid jameed or buttermilk into that broth. Stirring only in one direction as you add the jameed. This is tempering the jameed. It is very important that you stir as you combine the liquids and stir only in one direction to keep the jameed from curdling.
  21. Once the jameed is tempered using the same procedure slowly add the tempered jameed into the pot of stew.
  22. Simmer on low heat for about 20 Minutes.
  23. Meanwhile prepare your serving tray. Break up the bread into pieces and place pieces on to the tray.
  24. Cover bread with rice.
  25. Place meat on the rice. Pour yogurt sauce (liquid you cooked meat in) over the meat and rice.
  26. Spoon tomato mixture around the meat.
  27. Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve.
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